Teras Terrace

Breaking the Silence

1:38 am, October 30 2016

Okay, so there have been no new blog posts in over a year, and no new characters introduced in nearly as long. I haven't abandoned the project—far from it; it's never been far from my mind. But the truth is, to make a long story short, the necessity of making a living temporarily interposed itself in the way of other pursuits, and I unfortunately had to relegate Teras Terrace (and, alas, a number of other projects) to a back burner.

On a note that perhaps may initially seem unrelated but will eventually (and perhaps as soon as the following sentence) prove not to be, this weekend was the Los Angeles Comic Con, and I had a table there at the small press booth. I'd never exhibited at a convention before, and had no idea what I was doing, and there are many things I no doubt could have done better, but all that is another story. What is more to the immediate point is that my main purpose in getting a small press table at the convention was to try to promote two of my projects, one of which was Teras Terrace. I ended up handing out almost five hundred postcards about Teras Terrace, and if even half the people who took a postcard go on to check out the site... then there will be people checking out the site. That sentence probably could have ended better.

Anyway, the point is that if people are going to be checking out the site, then it would probably be best they don't see a site with no recent updates, so... I am now making an update. Besides that, though, the fact that there may now be potentially people following the progress of Teras Terrace gives me ample motivation to move it back off the back burner and onto the... front burner, I guess? Is that how that metaphor works?

So, yeah. This has been the first update in a long while, but the next should not be long in coming. And the new character introductions should be resuming this week, as well. Especially since it was mentioned to people at the convention that Teras Terrace is planned to be finished some time next year, and if that's the case... I have a lot of work ahead of me.

Which I... will do.

Much like the last sentence of the second paragraph, this post could probably have ended better.

Open for Discussion

7:58 pm, July 10 2015

Yeah, yeah, it's once again been a very long time since the last blog update, but things have not been idle... I've been learning to use Toon Boom Animate Pro, and expect to at long last have some actual animated clips from Teras Terrace to show relatively soon. In the meantime, though, there's a new site feature that I'd been meaning to add for a long time and just finally got around to... a forum!

Yes, it's empty right now, of course, since it was just created. Maybe I should make some kind of post there to get things started. Not sure what to write, though. In any case, I don't expect it to see a lot of (or necessarily any) activity any time soon, given that the project hasn't been publicized and practically nobody knows about it yet. But... maybe eventually there will be posts there?

So. Anyway. There is a forum now. Yes.

And there will be some animation to see soon.

Going Boom?

11:22 pm, December 4 2014

Yeah, it's been a long time (again) since the last blog post. Yes, this project is still a thing that is happening. It's just happening somewhat more slowly than I'd prefer.

So, I honestly haven't had much time to work on the short lately (my schedule should open up considerably in May, but I'm hoping not to wait till then to make some progress), but even beyond that I've realized lately I've been kind of misprioritizing matters. Most of what time I have managed to put in on the short has been spent not actually animating the characters, but building backgrounds—in particular, building a virtual 3D model of the Mongleys' house (including the interior) so I could make it easy to trace it from different angles for different shots. I figured I'd get some of the backgrounds set (besides the Mongleys' house, I'd also planned to model the Teras Elementary fifth-grade classroom), and then start animating the characters in front of them.

Which was unnecessary, and probably unwise. Not that building 3D models of the "sets" is a bad idea, but I shouldn't have put animating the characters on hold until I did that. (Especially since I'm sort of still figuring out the 3D modeling programs, so it's taking me longer than it would if I actually, um, knew what I was doing.) I can do the two simultaneously. I don't have to have the backgrounds finalized to start animating the characters. (In certain scenes maybe I sort of do, where the characters are heavily interacting with their surroundings, but not in all.) It's been way too long, and I really ought to start animating the characters.

So. I'm going to do that.

Hopefully soon I'll have something to show. Someone recently volunteered to help out with the inbetweeing, which would definitely expedite things... but even if that doesn't work out, I'm going to get on actually doing the animation. So hopefully, relatively soon, I'll actually be able to post a sample of the animation, rather than just stills of the characters.

Well, actually, I do have some other things I can show now, I guess—storyboards, voice acting—, and I probably ought to start posting some of those. I ought to post here more in general, really. So, yeah... relatively soon, I hope to let you see some of the work in progress.

One thing I need to decide on before I get into the animation in earnest, though, is what software to use. I had already decided that—I'd intended to animate the short in Flash. The thing is, I'm considering changing my mind. I'd heard of Toon Boom animation software before, but I'd been under the impression there wasn't much important difference between using it or Flash. I've been looking into the matter more in depth lately, thogh, and the more I research it the more it seems to me that while Adobe Flash may be fine for web applications and interactive projects, the Toon Boom products really are vastly more suited for the kind of good old-fashioned frame-by-frame animation I'm doing, and may be worth getting. The problem is that I already have a copy of Flash, and I don't have Toon Boom software, and even the cheapest application, Toon Boom Studio, costs a few hundred dollars... which with my current budget is not an insignificant sum. Still, it seems it may be worth it... drawing in Flash really is kind of awkward, among other issues, and if Toon Boom Studio (and/or the more expensive, higher-end products, if I can find a way to afford them) facilitates the animation as much as it seems it might, it may be very much worth it.

Anyway, I'll ask around and figure things out. But either way, in Toon Boom or in Flash (and at this point I'm heavily leaning toward the former), it's time to get going on the animation.

Back In Action

1:18 am, May 21 2014

Well, heck. I'd intended to keep updating the site (and the Tumblr) with one new character a week, but it's been quite a while since that last update. Nearly two months, in fact. I'm afraid that the same obligations that have prevented me from focusing on Teras Terrace as much as I would like to in general had really started eating up even more of my time the last few months, and have demanded my attention to such a degree that I haven't been able to do much of anything else, and even something so simple as the weekly character update suffered.

The good news is, though, that those obligations are now over; the storm has passed, and once again my time is more my own. This means I'm going to get caught up on all those updates I missed, and, starting tomorrow, post a new character a day until I've made up the difference. Beyond that, though, it also means that I have time again to actually put in serious work on the short itself. So, aside from the character updates, expect to finally see over the next few weeks some progress on the animation and other matters.

So, yeah, I've had to put Teras Terrace on the back burner temporarily to get some other matters out of the way, but now it's time for it to come back to the front. It's still going to be a while before it's finished—creating an animated short is a lot of work!—but progress will be made

And of course, in the meantime, a new character will be up tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that. And the etc. (I'm about eight weeks behind).

A Matter of Time

2:41 am, March 16 2014

Welp. I know the updates have been kind of sparse. I've been putting up a new character every week (well, I have missed a week here and there, but I've always caught up), but there hasn't been a whole lot else going on here. There's a reason for that, and I guess I ought to lay it on the table.

The truth is, for various reasons not worth going into here, the last couple of months I've been extremely busy. And I'm likely to remain so until mid-May. Teras Terrace is a project I definitely want to see through to completion, and I have a lot of hope and plans for, but... the fact is, there are other things I've had to deal with, and I just don't have time for it right now.

But. In May, my schedule should open up in a big way. And so in May, I'll finally have time for all the projects I've been putting off for the moment. Of which Teras Terrace is one of the foremost.

So I guess the upshot is, unfortunately, don't expect a lot of updates during the next month or two. Oh, I'll still get up a new character every week, but aside from that I won't have a lot to show.

But come May, that's going to change. Starting in May, Teras Terrace is going to become a major priority for me.

And one way or the other, I am going to get this done. Just... not for another month or two.

Thanks for following along.

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